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Fogwill, C. J.; Turney, C. S. M.; Golledge, N. R.; Etheridge, D. M.; Rubino, M.; Thornton, D. P.; Baker, A.; Woodward, J.; Winter, K.; van Ommen, T. D.; Moy, A. D.; Curran, M. A. J.; Davies, S. M.; Weber, M. E.; Bird, M. I.; Munksgaard, N. C.; Menviel, L.; Rootes, C. M.; Ellis, B.; Millman, H.; Vohra, J.; Rivera, A.; Cooper, A. (2017)
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Journal: Scientific Reports
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: G1, F800, Article
Reconstructing the dynamic response of the Antarctic ice sheets to warming during the Last Glacial Termination (LGT; 18,000–11,650 yrs ago) allows us to disentangle ice-climate feedbacks that are key to improving future projections. Whilst the sequence of events during this period is reasonably well-known, relatively poor chronological control has precluded precise alignment of ice, atmospheric and marine records, making it difficult to assess relationships between Antarctic ice-sheet (AIS) dynamics, climate change and sea level. Here we present results from a highly-resolved ‘horizontal ice core’ from the Weddell Sea Embayment, which records millennial-scale AIS dynamics across this extensive region. Counterintuitively, we find AIS mass-loss across the full duration of the Antarctic Cold Reversal (ACR; 14,600–12,700 yrs ago), with stabilisation during the subsequent millennia of atmospheric warming. Earth-system and ice-sheet modelling suggests these contrasting trends were likely Antarctic-wide, sustained by feedbacks amplified by the delivery of Circumpolar Deep Water onto the continental shelf. Given the anti-phase relationship between inter-hemispheric climate trends across the LGT our findings demonstrate that Southern Ocean-AIS feedbacks were controlled by global atmospheric teleconnections. With increasing stratification of the Southern Ocean and intensification of mid-latitude westerly winds today, such teleconnections could amplify AIS mass loss and accelerate global sea-level rise.

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